Postgraduate Diploma Applied Health Economics (Online Delivery)

Having a specialist knowledge in Health Economics is an increasingly important asset and extra responsibility of medical personnel. Run with our collaborative partner Diploma MSc, the online Postgraduate Diploma Applied Health Economics will enable health care professionals to be well equipped to elicit the maximum value from finite budgets.

It will help students understand why Health Economics has and should become integral to healthcare decision making as well as understanding the underlying principles, methodologies and processes associated with this established and growing international discipline. Unlike other courses, the Postgraduate Diploma Applied Health Economics covers the key disease area pertinent to Health Economics for healthcare decision making.

On completion of the Health Economics Diploma, you will be able to demonstrate a systematic understanding of the application of Health Economics in healthcare decision making; critically evaluate current research in Health Economics for healthcare decision making; apply a critical awareness of current issues in Health Economic evaluations and implement Health Economic evaluations in clinical practice scenarios.

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year September Online 8
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Part-time 1 Year March Online 8
Part-time 1 Year September Online 8

Module 1 - Health Economic Decision Making and Health Technology Appraisal/Assessment

In this module, you will understand and evaluate the purpose, principles and processes of health economics in healthcare decision-making and HTA, understand and critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of health economics in healthcare decision making and HTA in regard to meeting their aims/achieving their purpose and understand the relevance of Health Economic decision making to clinical practice.

We will look at what is Health Economics and what is its purpose; some common misconceptions of Health Economics and HTA; Health Economics and HTA as part of Evidence Based Medicine/ Practice (from national to sub-national to personal practice) and the relevance of health economics to you as a healthcare professional.


Module 2 - Principles of Obtaining Patient Access in Healthcare Systems

You will develop a critical understanding of the way in which benefits or clinical value are calculated and judged within health economic decision making.

We will identify clinical benefit; length vs. quality of life (QoL): the quality adjusted life year (QALY); challenges with length of life estimations: time horizons, extrapolation, bias towards the younger patient, the need for future discounting; avoidance of negative events and critical appraisal of clinical data: evidence-based medicine and HTA/health economic decision making.


Module 3 - Health Economic Modelling and Analysis

This module will develop a critical understanding of the economic burden of chronic diseases, types of economic analyses, establishing pay thresholds and budget impact.

We will investigate and establish the economic burden of disease; types of analysis: cost-effectiveness, cost-utility and cost-minimisation; perspectives: which costs should be included? We will also explore willingness to pay thresholds; establishing budget impact and challenges such as rare diseases and end of life considerations.


Module 4 - Understanding the Use of Data in Health Technology Assessment

You will develop a critical understanding of data interpretation including levels of evidence and statistical interpretation of data.

It will cover:

  • Additional Data Sources: Real World Data, Expert Opinion, The Patient’s Voice
  • Statistics: Confidence intervals and p-values • Statistics: Hazard ratios and NNT
  • Statistics: Bayesian statistics and Cox model? • Statistics: Sensitivity Analysis and Marginal Analysis?
  • Statistics: Indirect Comparison and Meta-Analysis


Module – 5 National and International Health Economic Decision Making

You will develop a critical understanding of the international health economic decision making processes within legal frameworks together with the procurement and tendering processes associated with treatments.

We will ask what are the international Health Economic decision-making processes? Examine Legislations vs. Recommendations; stakeholders and payers; HTA vs. non0HTA processes such as Procurement, Tendering, Commissioning and evolving health system policy as it relates to health economic decision making.


Module 6 - Sub-National (regional, institutional) Health Economic Decision Making

You will appreciate and evaluate the process of implementation of Health Technology Appraisals at the regional and local levels and the process of implementation of Health Technology Appraisals at the regional and local levels.

We will explore how national decisions are applied at a sub-national level; what additional information is needed at a sub-national level and in what format; who are the stakeholders/decision makers at a sub-national level and the challenges such as national recommendations meet sub-national budget constraints.



The course is delivered online and each module has the same format. Using an online platform and one tutor per 10-15 students, the self-directed distance learning is guided by tutor stimulated discussion based on clinically rich case scenarios.

Group projects are undertaken alongside independent projects. Reflective practice is recorded in a reflective portfolio to help students consider how the learning can be translated into everyday work and practice. 

Once you have secured your place on the course, you will be invited to an Online Induction Day Webinar. This will give you the opportunity to participate in study skills workshops on Harvard Referencing, scientific and reflective writings, and levels of evidence in preparation for your studies. It is not compulsory for you to attend our Induction Day, but it is recommended as it’ll provide you with a sturdy introduction to the course.

The fees for this course are available from the Diploma MSc website.


The applied health economics course puts assessments at the heart of learning by using real-life scenarios to facilitate problem-solving, critical analysis and evidence-based care. The scenarios act as both the focus for learning and assessment, embedding assessment within the learning process.

Each of the six modules has the same assessment format:

Academic Forum - 40%
Reflective Journal - 10%
Module Activity - 20%
Case based examination - 30%
You will be assigned a dedicated expert tutor who will facilitate clinical case discussions with the group and monitor, assess and mark your work throughout each module.

Due to the online nature of the course, you will be expected to login and participate in the course regularly throughout the module, ideally on a daily basis.


Students will have access to over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles and conference proceedings. You will also have access to the Learning Resources Centre materials at the University of South Wales. FINDit is the University’s portal which allows you to search for over 13,000 full-text journal articles, news articles, conference proceedings and approximately 160 databases via one search box- the majority of these materials are accessible online. Interactive study skills modules are available to study via Blackboard to enable you to utilise the library services fully.

To secure your place on the course, applicants will typically hold a first degree or equivalent (including international qualifications) in a relevant professional healthcare field, such as a medical or nursing degree. Registered healthcare professionals without these recognised qualifications will be considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account.

In some cases, applicants may be asked to submit a piece of work for assessment in order to confirm that they are able to work comfortably at postgraduate level, and demonstrate the requisite clinical and professional knowledge.

English Language Requirements

Proficiency in the English Language is also essential to completing our courses. If English is NOT your first language, we ask for proof of competency during the application process. We are able to accept an IELTS overall score of 6.0 (with a minimum of 5.5 for each band) or an equivalent qualification.

International Entry Requirements

 The course welcomes international applicants and requires an English level of IELTS 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each component or equivalent.

This course is run in partnership with Diploma MSc. Please refer to their website for fee information.

August 2021 - July 2022 Fees

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

This course is run in partnership with Diploma MSC who have over 10 years` experience in delivering award-winning, online, Postgraduate Diploma, MSc and MBA distance education courses.

Click here to apply to study this course via Diploma MSC.

Admissions statement 

The PG Diploma in Health Economics is being introduced with the express purpose of promoting and enhancing professional skills and knowledge among its students which have direct relevance and application to the demands of their working roles. There is increasing competition for employment in the healthcare arena, with increasing specialisation. There is a need for postgraduate qualifications to assist with career enhancement and support specialisation.